How you can Do Camel Pose in Yoga (Ustrasana)






Camel pose (ustrasana, because it’s identified in Sanskrit) appears easy: You kneel down, arch your again, and seize your heels. However this backbend and chest opener has a lot extra happening.

Camel pose is accessible to yogis of all ranges (barring any lower-back or neck points), and ustrasana‘s (ustra = camel, and asana = posture or seat) advantages far outweigh the hassle required to grasp it.

When carried out accurately and safely, the pose takes the form of a camel’s hump.

Within the second sequence of ashtanga yoga, camel pose is the primary of three kneeling backbends that improve in issue. Iyengar yoga makes use of props to make ustrasana extra accessible.

Whether or not you’re new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, you’ll wish to heat up earlier than making an attempt this backbend.

Take into account beginning with a hip flexor stretch (like pigeon pose or one in every of these poses for the hips), and a few chest stretches like bow pose, in addition to backbends like upward-facing canine or cobra pose.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana): Step-by-Step Directions

Right here’s the best way to safely assume camel pose, supplied you don’t want to change it.

  • Begin in a kneeling place, together with your knees instantly underneath your hips and the tops of your ft flat towards the mat.
  • Along with your chest lifted and core engaged, barely contract your glutes, push your hips and thighs ahead, and attain on your heels.
  • Look as much as lengthen your neck, and drop your head again in case you can. (If not, simply look towards the ceiling; holding your head midway again can pressure your neck.)
  • Maintain for a minimum of 5 breaths, as much as one minute.
  • To return to the beginning place, have interaction your core, and push into your ft and shins to slowly convey your self ahead. Your head ought to come up final.

How you can Make Camel Pose Simpler

woman doing modified camel pose | Camel Pose

Camel pose shouldn’t be rushed. For those who can’t comfortably attain your heels, or in case you really feel like you may’t breathe, attempt one in every of these modifications to make ustrasana simpler.

  • Can’t attain your heels comfortably? 1. Tuck your toes, 2. Attain for one heel at a time, and/or 3. Use blocks on both facet of your ft.
  • A pleasant warm-up or newbie’s model of camel pose leaves out the heels fully. As an alternative, place your fingers in your decrease again, fingertips pointing down.
  • Camel pose extends your stomach wall, which may make respiratory more durable, says Stephanie Saunders, BODi vp of health programming and a licensed yoga teacher. “Maybe it’s because we consider our lungs as being in entrance of our our bodies, versus being surrounded by our ribcage,” says Saunders. “Take into consideration increasing and respiratory within the again facet of your physique, which is able to permit extra freedom in camel.”

How you can Make Camel Pose Tougher

woman doing little thunderbolt pose | Camel Pose

Ustrasana is a gateway posture to different kneeling backbends. As soon as you’re feeling snug within the primary pose, use these options to make camel pose more durable.

  • For those who’re struggling to remain upright in camel pose and see your thighs are angling again (as a substitute of over your knees), go to the wall. Kneel in entrance of the wall, come into camel pose, and push your hip bones firmly into the wall. This may construct main power and muscle reminiscence that can assist you safely progress within the pose. By pushing your hips into the wall, you assist make sure you’re bending from the thoracic backbone versus the lumbar, which may pressure your again.
  • Take camel pose into little thunderbolt pose (laghu vajrasana): Hold your hips pushing ahead, however stroll your fingers onto the backs of your calves. Hold your arms straight, and let your head drop all the way down to the ground. As with camel, don’t calm down; your head ought to bear little to no weight.
  • To check the power of your quads and adductors, take your fingers off your heels (you may place them in your decrease again) whilst you keep in your deepest camel pose.

Bonus/Newbie’s Suggestions for Doing Camel Pose

Camel pose might be sophisticated, and there’s a lot to be realized from it. Listed below are some ideas for progressing in ustrasana.

  • Contract your glutes to elongate your backbone (however don’t squeeze/clench, which is able to crunch your low again), and maintain your abs engaged.
  • Use a block between your knees to maintain them hip-width aside, and to encourage inner rotation of your thighs (squeeze the block to fireplace up your adductors and quads).
  • Focus in your neck. “Discovering a wholesome extension of the cervical backbone might be tough in ustrasana,” says Saunders. “Specializing in lengthening from the anterior a part of the neck — and never contracting the muscle tissues on the facet of the neck (sternocleidomastoid) — will maintain your cranium from crunching into your vertebrae.”
  • Keep away from squeezing your shoulder blades collectively or sinking into your fingers/wrists. As an alternative, take into consideration opening your chest (maintaining your collarbones extensive) and maintaining your weight ahead in your hips/thighs (not in your fingers).
  • Don’t “hand over” — this isn’t a pose in which you’ll be able to calm down when you attain your peak.

Advantages of Camel Pose

man doing camel pose | Camel Pose

Above all, camel pose is a again bend and chest opener. Listed below are a few of its different advantages.

Stretches the entrance physique

Camel pose stretches the psoas, in addition to the entire entrance of your physique. You’ll really feel a pleasant stretch in your different hip flexors, quads, neck, and chest.

Improves posture

The hunched-over carriage related to most workplace work can result in shortened hip flexors and ahead stress on the backbone. Camel pose may also help counteract the results of sitting all day.

Will increase spinal flexibility

As a again bend, camel pose will assist make your backbone extra limber, particularly the thoracic backbone.


Take your apply additional with BODi’s Yoga52, a group of 52 elegantly-produced yoga courses from newbie to professional taught by 5 of the world’s main yoga instructors.

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